A Nome man was seriously injured Sunday in what police are calling an “industrial accident” when the neck of a crane fell on to the cab of a truck he was driving at a local gravel pit.
Nome Police Chief John Papasodora said emergency responders got the call for an “accident involving injuries with a crane” late Sunday morning.
The crane was operating in the gravel pit just east of the intersection of the Nome-Teller Road and the Dexter Bypass.
Longtime Nome resident Louie Green Sr. says his grandson, 25-year-old Bryce Warnke-Green, was behind the wheel in the truck when the crane tumbled down and crushed the truck’s cab. Green said the weight of the crane caved the corner of the cab down right over the driver’s seat—pushing the roof down nearly to the seat.
Emergency responders medevaced Warnke-Green to Anchorage Sunday afternoon. On Monday Green, Sr. said MRIs done at an Anchorage hospital show his grandson has a “crushed spine” with “bone fragments” showing up in the scan.
Green said his grandson is now on his way to Seattle to seek treatment from specialists at the University of Washington. He said surgery is planned.
The gravel pit property is owned by Bering Straits Native Corporation and was leased to ProWest LLC contractors. ProWest was operating the crane and truck at the time of the incident.
Messages to ProWest in Nome were not returned Monday.
Chief Papasodora said the accident is being investigated and the Operational Safety Hazard Administration has been notified.